Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green eats!

I'm super late today and for that I do apologize. But as I always say better late than never right?! So as you all know I looooove I like rustic comfort food and this site screams it.
The St.Patricks day menu is pretty amazing this year. Click on this link to get it! offers these great ideas as well.

Some look a little tricky to me but If you have the time go for it! Happy St. Patty's day friends!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Okay, these are too cute! NummyCrummies offers these cakes in a jar that I think would make a great and creative gift! I found them on If your not willing to give them away at least your sweet tooth is satisfied by portion control right? I will be ordering the Sunday Breakfast with maple syrup. yum. Check out the site and let me know what you think in comments below! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Secret Family Recipe Revealed.

I was once working in a high-end restaurant in California as a line cook. I told my chef that I knew how to make spatzle as he had mentioned he wanted it on the menu. Just to make sure I was doing it right I called my mother. That was a blessing and a curse of a convo. . . It went something like this:

Me- "Hi mom! So I have my spatzle batter made and I want to make sure I did it right."

Her- "Is your water Heavily salted and boiling already?"

Me- "No, just waiting on the water to boil"


Apparently I shamed the family name. Spatlze making isn't so much about a good recipe but following the technicalities. Your Dough should not be mixed until your water is at a full boil. If the dough sits to long the gluten and starches work there magic and create a very tough noodle. Not what you want. So patience is key! The only seasoning the noodle receives is in the water, and do not rinse with cold water when done. Weird I know but that's how it's done here. . . And it works.

So here is our family recipe. Enjoy! boiled and pieced chicken can be added to this as well.

4 Whole Eggs
3 Cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of cold water

1 half onion small dice
1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp paprika
3 (or more if you like!) Tbs of sour cream
1 cup of whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill Pot

Bring HEAVILY salted water to a boil (about 3/4 of a cup of salt)

Get eggs water and flour ready

If you have a spatzle maker just use that. Mine was lost so I got creative. Once water comes to boil cover w strainer upsidedown

Begin by whisking eggs

Mix all ingredients together and pour over strainer about 1/2 a cup at a time

Push through with a spoon and watch for noodles to float to top!

Strain noodles in batches with a slotted spoon or small strainer with a handel. Repeat until noodles are done. Toss lightly in olive oil and set aside.

In a Frypan saute One half chopped onion and 1 tsp.paprika in 1Tbs butter

Add One Tbs of flour and saute until lightly browned

Add 1 Cup of milk and Three Tbs. of Sour cream. Season with salt and cook until thickened.

Add noodles back to sauce to warm through.

Monday, March 14, 2011

These are sinful. Like really.

So I have decided to get into food photography. I'm still an amateur but the adventure has been fun so I thought I would make a commitment on this site and you can all hold me too it. No longer will I use a photo that I have not taken. It's gonna be hard but I'm okay with that. . . and I will accept your criticism good or bad! Soooo here we go!

I made the most AMAZING Orange zest fritters today. Unreal. Gone under 10 minutes good. My mother was kind enough to get me a pound of oranges on Friday and I have had so much fun using them. I usually make savory fritters and have never made a sweet ones before. . . . There may be no turning back! Lucky for you I am sharing the recipe and the photos of my fritter journey.

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 3/4 cup orange juice
* 2 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
* Oil for deep-fat frying
* 1 cup or more of Confectioners' sugar


* In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk the eggs, orange juice, butter and orange peel. stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Should be slightly heavier than cake batter consistency.

* In heavy bottomed pan with deep sides or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls, a few at a time, into hot oil.

Fry until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Dust warm fritters with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 20 fritters.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foodie Friday!

Tyler Morrisson is only 15 but is already changing lives through his love for cooking. His mother is a breast cancer survivor. Tyler has used his passion to do an amazing thing. This article is spot on and I hope you enjoy it. Happy Friday loves!

Feb 18, 2011 - 7:00 PM
Young chef whips up dinner before walk

An Oakville youth who has a dream of one day being a chef is killing a pair of the proverbial birds with one stone; however, luckily for his guests he’s serving beef tenderloin.

The St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School student, Tyler Morrison, will be serving a five-course dinner this weekend to 35 guests in his family’s home. The money raised at the event, collected through donations and raffle tickets, will help him raise the minimum $2,000 entrance fee to participate in the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Weekend to End Women’s Cancers this summer, while also giving him the experience of serving a large house party.

The 60 km, two-day walk will take place this September, by which time he will have turned 16, the minimum age to participate. His mother, Catherine, a breast cancer survivor, has participated in the annual event each year since it started in 2003. This year, her youngest son will walk with her, as his older brother has done the past two years. Catherine said she is proud of her young son.

“It’s amazing. It brings tears to my eyes. I’m very proud of him,” she said. “He was a bit worried about how he would raise this money and in the summer he came up with this idea with some friends.”

“The walk started in 2003 in Toronto and my mom’s always been doing it,” Tyler said. “I’ve always been there at the start and the finish. I know how much work she’s done for it and the Princess Margaret Hospital has done a lot of research with the money.”

The dinner is already sold out. The guests will be family, friends and neighbours, basically the people who supported Catherine when she went through two years of treatments starting in 2002.

Tyler will not be working alone. He has a number of volunteers, who will be helping him both cook and serve. He created the menu, which includes five different appetizers, salad, soup, beef tenderloin with all the fixings and three different desserts.

“Tyler will make everything. We’re helping him. He oversaw the menu. He’s already made it once as a trial,” Catherine said.

Tyler has already earned a reputation for his cooking and the guests know what to expect of their meal.

“He’s pretty famous for his cooking already and (the guests are) coming for the dessert,” Catherine said.

Tyler said one of the desserts he plans to serve is his family’s recipe for a banana bar, which consists of graham cracker crust, with banana filling and chocolate icing.

Though there will be plenty of guests and volunteers helping to make things happen, Catherine isn’t too worried about the space constraints of her Denfield Terrace home.

“It’s great. We don’t mind at all. We entertain a lot and we’ll be moving all the furniture out of the living room and dining room to fit everybody.”

Tyler also rented some party gear for the dinner event.

He hopes to be a chef one day and said he’s had an interest in cooking for quite some time.

“I’ve always been into cooking. I’ve always been in the kitchen doing something as much as I can for dinner, for Thanksgiving, for Christmas. I always enjoyed watching,” he said.

At the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, Tyler will walk in his mother’s Tutus for Tatas team, in which all members wear a tutu.

He also thanked his event sponsors: Longo's, Aesthetics in the Trails, Linda Joakim — Coldwell Banker and Pat's Party Rentals.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flambe. It makes EVERYTHING better.

To Flambe: Cooking) dipped in or covered with a flammable liqueur and set afire when served; - usually used postpositively.

Giving in to my massive little pyro side I almost set the house on fire last night. (Hope the landlord doesn't read my blog!) Making a crimini mushroom reduction (to top husbanface's steak) I thought nothing could make this concoction better than a little cognac. So forgetting every lesson I ever learned about alcohol and fire I added a splash to the pan while my burner was on and in full force. Big big mistake. Let's just say our smoke alarms are working JUST fine thankyouverymuch. I placed a pan on top of my sauce and prayed it would still taste good, and then proceeded to run around my house like a maniac fanning smoke with brooms and pillows. Well don't worry bloggy friends because my sauce came out amazing and my home is still intact.

Should you want to add a little fire to your meal here are some tips before you risk firemen showing up at your house.

*Use a pan with well rounded, and deep sides. A long handle helps for safety as well.

*Turn burner off first before adding your liquor of choice.

* Do NOT pour the liquid straight from the bottle into the pan unless the bottle has a stopper. A man at culinary school did this and the fire went back into the bottle creating a rocket like effect and blowing out a window. It does happen so be safe.

*Don't add to much. It should complement the food not overpower it.

Good luck friends! I leave you with a recipe I found on

Jack’s Cherries Jubilee

1 pound Bing or other dark, sweet cherries, rinsed and pitted (or use frozen pitted cherries)

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 cup orange juice

1 cup brandy, divided

1 teaspoon almond extract

1-quart premium vanilla ice cream

Bring cherries orange juice and zest to simmer in a 12-inch skillet. Add 1/2 cup of the brandy; simmer to blend and concentrate flavors, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract; pour in remaining brandy. Carefully ignite to burn off alcohol. In each of eight bowls, put 1/2-cup scoop of ice cream and spoon sauce over ice cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Picky Eaters. :/

Bananas and Escargot will never enter my mouth. Nope. Not gonna do it.

I am not a picky eater for the most part but those are my non-negotiables. I have learned that the foods I enjoy in life are a part of what make me who I am. That being said, I embrace the picky eaters in my life! When throwing a dinner party I try to ask ahead if anyone has any dislikes or allergies. This makes menu creation a lot simpler. I have compiled a list of "no-go's" over the years that tends to work. Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, brussel-sprouts, and many more. With this list I make sure to NOT add them to certain dishes so everyone is happy. You will never please everybody but offering something like a simple grilled chicken skewer with sauces on the side helps. Creating stations or "Build your own" menus works too! Taco night and fondues go over very well.

For kids or even adults this book offers GREAT recipes that are tasty and geared towards even the pickiest of palates.
It's great to always be open to trying new things but eat what you love and love what you eat! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When Life gives you lemons preserve them. :)

This past month I have had more friends giving me lemons. Maybe this was a good year for citrus? So I asked a few chef friends for some different recipes because Lemonade is getting a little overdone in our home. Below is my favorite way to use the sour fruit! Preserved lemons take time and patience but the end result is SO worth it.

Preserved lemons are a common ingredient in Moroccan and African Cuisine. By completing the process the entire lemon becomes edible. I love using them chopped on chicken, topped on cupcakes, or even in soup. It is a great addition to your pantry and also makes a beautiful gift!

How to Make Preserved Lemons
(recipe courtesy of simply recipes)


* 8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean
* 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
* Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed

* Sterilized quart canning jar

* You don't need to use Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do, it's just that the milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way.

1 Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.

2 One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.

3 Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.

4 Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.

5 Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.

6 To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.

7 Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

You can add spices to the lemons for preserving - cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Light it up!

Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend! As you know I do love my kitchen toys. If it lights up, sings, looks pretty, or is a necessary conversation piece than I want it. Today these are my Needs wants. Maybe I'm just easily amused but I realized just now that all of today's toys just happen to light up.

First up on the list are these nostalgic lovelies:
Fuse is an interior design company that is goin' green. They have developed a line of drop down spot lights that are recycled. These are just the first of many products to come. These would be great in no just a kitchen but maybe a playroom, or even a bar area.

Next up is one of the craaaziest fridges I have ever seen!
Fridges have come a long way in the past 10 years. This fridge comes with Wi-fi, a 10-inch touch display, Google Calendar support, a listing of 500 different kinds of food with their nutritional value, notes as well as news from the Internet. The fridge also doubles as a digital frame for your personal photos. For a cool $2170.00 it can be yours!

Last but certainly not least are these. Okay so they might be a little cheesy but I don't care. I love them. Litecubes would make every liquid in my home all the more desireable and i'm sure they would do the same for you!
not only light up with different colors, but those colors change periodically through eight different cycles.
Have a light and bright monday friends!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Foodie Friday!

As much as I enjoy food for all it's flavors it is all to easy to forget that the purpose is not just for our pleasure but our nourishment as well. Please take the time to watch this inspiring video about Narayanan Krishnan. This Chef changed his world with food, and you and I can do the same. Happy Friday!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I don't want to grow up!

Growing up with a Hungarian Mother I rarely had the usual "kid's food" for dinner. While most American children were chowing down on pizza, burgers, or mac and cheese I consumed Chicken Paprikash. Mind you I had NO objections to dinner time at our house. In fact I still make many of the meals today and Lord bless my children because they will too. With that being said, as an adult a large part of me feels like I need to indulge in what maybe I didn't get enough of.

I found the following "Kid Menu for Adults" from Michael Chiarello and it's amazing. I can't wait to host a kid's party for my adult friends! Take a look at these recipes and tell me what you think? What were your favorite meals as a kid? Let me know in comments below!

Grown Up Grilled Cheese
•1 loaf Italian bread such as ciabatta
•1 pound Teleme or Brie cheese
•1 pound sliced smoked ham (applewood if available)
•3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
•1 cup roasted red peppers

Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Top the bottom bread slice with the Teleme cheese, then the smoked ham, distributing it evenly. Place top of bread on sandwich and brush with butter.

Heat a sandwich grill until hot. Set sandwich, butter side down in grill. Butter top side of bread. Place a heavy pan on top of entire sandwich to evenly distribute weight and cook until nicely browned and the cheese is melted, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Transfer the sandwich to a work surface and remove the top slice of bread. Spread the underside of the bread with mustard, and add roasted peppers, if desired.

Replace the top slice of bread, cut the sandwiches into slices, and serve immediately.

Baked Myer Lemon Fries
•6 Idaho potatoes
•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
•1 tablespoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•3 Meyer lemons, zested
•2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
•2 tablespoons minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Peel potatoes and cut into 3/8-inch thick slices (lengthwise) cut again into 3/8-inch thick fries. Place the potatoes into a bowl with cold water; this will help keep the fries crisp and white. Just before cooking, drain water and place on paper towel, pat dry completely. Put in a bowl; add olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well and lay out in 1 layer on nonstick baking sheets. Bake until light brown. Cook for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, turning frequently until golden brown.

Remove from oven. Add lemon zest, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss well and serve.

Spicy Sausage in Carozza
•6 spicy Italian sausages
•1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
•15 whole garlic cloves
•Salt and pepper
•2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
•3 (4-ounce) pieces pizza dough, store bought

In a saucepan add 1/2-inch water to the pan. Immerse sausages in water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove sausage and dry the pan. Return to the heat and add the olive oil on medium heat. When hot return the sausage to the pan with garlic cloves and saute until medium brown all over. Remove garlic to a bowl. Remove sausage to a plate to cool. Use a fork to mash the garlic with salt and pepper. Stir in mustard and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut each piece of dough into 2 and roll out until 1/4-inch thick. Cut 6 pieces of dough about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch shorter then the length of sausage, just enough to wrap around sausage with the ends peeking out. Spread bottom of each dough with a tablespoon of garlic/mustard paste. Set sausage on top, moisten 1 dough edge with a wet finger so it sticks together and roll. Press the seam firmly and set them on a lightly floured sheet pan, seam side down. Brush with olive oil. Bake until brown all around.

Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 3/4-inch long pieces and serve.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's not Irish

So it's about that time of year when all things green appear! I love St. Patrick's day. I'm not even Irish. I'm a proud Hungarian with a new-found love for Corned Beef and Cabbage. Which isn't even Irish. Confused? Me too. This morning I was looking up some new recipe ideas for St. Patty's and I found some very interesting history on this tradition.

excerpt from

In the early 1900s, Jiggs, a character in the newspaper comic strip "Bringing Up Father," proclaimed corned beef and cabbage his favorite Irish dish, even though it may never have graced dinner tables in Ireland. Since then, Americans have embraced it as the meal of choice for St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

Corned beef got its name before refrigeration, when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt, called "corn." Today, beef is corned with spices strictly for flavor, not for preservation, so the meat must be refrigerated. A wee bit of updating hasn't changed the allure of this all-American favorite. Whether you're Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a feast.

Crazy right?! Leave it to us Americans to get a traditional dish from a comic strip to be passed on for over a century. I leave you with the simplest and most amazing recipe for this "Irish" dish.

4 pounds corned beef brisket
1 cup brown sugar 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout
beer (e.g. Guinness®)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Rinse the beef completely and pat dry.
2. Place the brisket on rack in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Rub the brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. Pour the bottle of stout beer around, and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.
3. Cover, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Junk food and Wine Pairing

I do not like Junk food. Not a fan since a propaganda movie I had watch at Culinary school on the secrets of McDonald's. Who knows if it was truthful at all but it did enough in my mind to avoid it completely. I don't mind making my own "Junk" at home though!

I took a three week wine course and my favorite day was the section on "unlikely pairings". The list below works. I would have to say my favorite combination is Potato chips and a super dry champagne. But I am bias towards champagne anyways. ;) Take a look and try something a little different this evening. More ideas can be found at one of my top 10 sites House and Home.

•Potato chips or fried chicken and Champagne

•Popcorn and Chilean chardonnay

•Nachos and California zinfandel

•Pizza and Italian chianti

•Burgers and Australian shiraz

•Canned brown beans and tawny port

•Fish and chips with German riesling
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